5 Keys to Getting the Most From Egoscue

So you just became an Egoscue client……..welcome!

Or you have been an Egoscue client for awhile now……awesome!

I want to help you get the very most from your Egoscue experience, to help you get the very best results you can possibly get. I have been an Egoscue clinic director for many years, having owned and operated the first licensed clinic to open in the Egoscue system. As a result, I have a large sample size of clients to draw from. I see those who get great results, those who get average results and those who get poor results and I see patterns. Generally speaking, those who fall into one of those respective groups tend to approach the process similarly. Each group has similar habits and beliefs. So the purpose of this post is to make you aware of the patterns I see so you can consciously choose to interact with Egoscue and yourself in a way that gives you the best chance of creating an outstanding outcome for yourself.

The most important factor is your attitude. No surprise there, right? That’s a concept that seems to hold true in most areas of life. With Egoscue, here is my question for you: do you believe your body can improve, can get stronger, can heal? If so, congratulations! You’re off to a great start! Do you believe you are broken, that your body is fundamentally damaged goods and that you somehow require fixing? If so, then together we need to help you find a more resourceful and accurate way of looking at your body, because I’ve yet to meet the client who is “damaged goods”.

If you feel pain, that is NOT a sign that your body is doing something wrong. It’s actually your body working perfectly to tell you that there is a problem somewhere that requires your attention and intention, that it is time for some measure of change. Don’t curse or resent your body sending a pain signal, be thankful that it is communicating to you and try to learn from that message. Slow down, take a deep breath and instead of responding to your pain with fear (“what’s wrong with me?”), ask yourself “what is my body trying to tell me here?”. I look at the job of an Egoscue therapist as being a translator, helping the client understand the messages the body is sending, then helping to provide the client a new way of looking at these messages – and themselves – and then giving them some new tools and perspectives to respond more intelligently and effectively.

That’s one of the things I love so much about Egoscue. We don’t believe you are broken and requiring fixing. Whew! That makes my job easier because I don’t want to be in the business of having to “fix” people. Rather, let’s help you rediscover your body’s magnificent blueprint, restore your postural balance and integrity and then watch and marvel as your body begins the process of changing from within. Your body WANTS to return to its birthright, its design. That is why it gave you the pain signal in the first place, to let you know something was compromised and action was required to restore balance. Believe this process can happen and you will not only create the mindset that will lead to taking the consistent action required to make it happen, but you will also create the biochemical state within your body to facilitate it’s proper response. We all know this is true, that attitude and belief impact your health at a physical level. So let’s make attitude work for you, not against you.

Now part of ‘attitude’ is having a willingness to make some changes in your life. We’ve all heard that classic definition of insanity, continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. You know that doesn’t work, it’s part of why you are here now. So, be willing to make some changes. Be willing to adjust your schedule to make doing your menus a priority. If you tend to have a “lone wolf” type of personality, be willing to partner with your therapist, be willing to ask for help, to ask questions. Be willing to look at the various habits in your life, from nutrition to sleeping to how you structure your work day, and be open to making adjustments so you can get more powerful and positive results from these different aspects of your life.

When I was a client, I was working 10-12 hours a day. I had a family, I had hobbies. In short, I was busy and I wasn’t sitting around thinking “you know, I need to find something else to do, I have this hour a day where I’m just sitting around bored”. I also knew that restoring my body’s ability to function without pain and limitation was supremely important and I was willing to make sacrifices to achieve that result. So, I committed to the process. I got up a little earlier, I eliminated a few time wasters from my day. I found ways to structure my work day so I was more efficient and could turn 10-12 hour work days into 9-11 hour days. Bottom line, I didn’t find the time to do Egoscue, I made the time. I did it, and I know you can do it, too.

Then finally, maintain the expectation of a positive outcome. That’s easy when things are going well, when you feel you are in the midst of steady and continual improvement. But improvement is never a straight line, right? Life goes in cycles, 2-3 steps forward, 1 step back. Don’t get too high on the ‘step forward’ days and don’t get discouraged on the ‘step back’ days. Keep your eyes on your goals and believe in your body’s ability to heal and take you there. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep your actions and your mindset steady and consistent.

I’ve given many clients a simple mental exercise that sounds trite but has a powerful impact not just on your mental health but your physical health as well. Spend just 5 minutes a day actively being grateful. You can do it before you arise in the morning, while you’re going to sleep at night, at lunch time, whenever. Put your phone on mute, shut the door, and actively think about things for which you are seriously grateful. Studies show that the emotion of gratitude has an immediate effect on our central nervous system and reduces cortisol levels while boosting levels of hormones we need for health like DHEA. Again, it’s simple, but it works.
If you need some additional help on this topic, ask your Egoscue therapist for help here. It’s the most important work we can do together, more so than getting your hips level or your feet pointing straight. There are a number of tools we can recommend depending on your situation. Just ask. Which leads us to our next topic.

This one is easy. When you start with Egoscue, there is one very fundamental thing we want you to realize: you are no longer in this by yourself. You and your Egoscue therapist form a team. We tell this to every client but I think some of them think we’re just saying it because it sounds good. We aren’t. We are passionately committed to helping you achieve your goals and we know from experience that the path from where you are to where you want to be will require adjustment and recalibration along the way. So if you have questions, ask them. If you have concerns, voice them. If you don’t understand something, speak up. This applies both to your time in our clinic and away from it. If you’re home doing your e-cises and you have a question about something, we WANT you to ask. If there’s an issue, we can’t help you if we don’t know about it. There are no dumb questions, so if you have a question, ask!

One of the goals of our clinic is very straightforward: we want to provide you a level of support and communication that far exceeds ANY other professional relationship you’ve ever had. When you buy an 8-visit package from us you aren’t just paying for 8 visits. Together, we are entering into a relationship, we are beginning a journey together. Think of your Egoscue therapist as less of a therapist and more a coach and consultant. Our job is to team with you and help you accomplish what YOU want to accomplish. And to do that, we need to communicate.

Do your menu. Every day. All of your menu, not just the ones you like. Do it in the order written. Pay attention to your form. Don’t just rush through it to get it done. Take the time to invest in yourself and give yourself this gift of motion each day.

Something I still find remarkable is that we can effect permanent postural change with such relatively little input. Depending on the length of your menu, in roughly 30-60 minutes a day you provide the body enough intelligent, prescribed and properly sequenced motion to offset the motion patterns of not only the other 23 hours of your day but the all the previous years! That is a very powerful thing and it’s what Egoscue does! To get that level of results and effectiveness, though, requires consistency. If you do your menu every other day, you will simply not provide the consistency of input to help your body truly get the message of what you want it to do. So trust me when I tell you, going from doing your menu 3-4 days a week to 7 days a week will not double the effectiveness of your results, it will increase your results by at least a factor of 10. It’s THAT important.

The other aspect of consistency is your appointments. Trust your therapist and get back in when they encourage you to get back in. If we tell you we want to see you next week, we’re not saying it just to book an appointment or fill an empty slot on our schedule. We are telling you this because it is in your best interest to get back in. I have told clients “Let’s see you again in 3 weeks” because that was what was appropriate for them. I have told some clients “I want to see you in 3 days” for the same reason. Two of the biggest reasons why clients get sub-optimal results with Egoscue derive from these topics right here, 1) consistency in performing their menus and 2) getting back in for follow up appointments as indicated. Don’t try to make your appointments last or stretch them out, this only delays achieving your goals and getting the results you seek.

When I’m working with a new client, I want to see them usually within a week for a number of reasons. I want to be sure their posture is changing as we desire it to do, I want to make sure they’re doing their e-cises correctly and answer any questions they may have, I want to see if a functional or postural goal has been accomplished and if they are now ready to move on to their next phase of work. Long gaps between appointments will only serve to slow the client’s progress.

Metabolic strength
One key issue that we see that limits how far a client can go is this one. The stronger and cleaner a person’s inner body is, the more rapidly they can create positive change and the more easily their bodies will hold that change. The weaker and more toxic a person is, the harder it will be to create change and their bodies will have more challenge holding and integrating that change permanently.

When I look at metabolic strength, I break it down into 3 primary components: nutrition, hydration and pH balance. We can make it a lot more complicated than that, but this is both a simple and a powerful way to look at this issue. If you’ve listened to Pete’s radio show (and if you haven’t, then I invite you to visit painfreeradio.org to learn more, it’s very educational and a lot of fun), you’ve heard him talk about issues like hydration and pH balance. These are critical and in terms of metabolic health its where we start. Almost every client who walks through our door is chronically dehydrated, their pH balance is acidic, and their cells are operating without sufficient amounts of quality nutrients necessary to function at peak effectiveness. Improving these factors will yield tremendous results and will make your Egoscue work exponentially more effective.

Now, hydration is an interesting thing. The quality of a person’s hydration is actually far more complex than simply how much water they drink. For cells to be able to freely take in water and become properly hydrated, several factors need to be in place. First, you need to have sufficient quantities of quality salt. If your body is salt deficient your cells will simply not be able to allow sufficient water to pass through the cell membranes. Secondly, if your pH is acidic, you’ll have the same problem. The cells will go into defense mode against the acidic fluids they are contacting and they’ll restrict fluid passage through the cell membrane. Both these scenarios will lead to cellular dehydration regardless of how much water you drink.

A quick note about salt: there is a lot of misinformation in the health community about salt and many people view salt as an intrinsically negative substance. That, in my opinion, is just wrong. Again, we are salt water beings and if we are deficient in salt, we will die. Now, the challenge is most people have an overload of toxic salt and little to no quality salt in their body. If you eat a lot of processed and packaged foods, you are getting a ton of junk salt and that is indeed hurting your health. Even if you are trying to eat healthful salt, obtaining it is harder than one might think. I’ll create a blog entry in the coming weeks specifically addressing this topic, and I’ll talk about the kind of salt I use and recommend.

All that said, drinking more water is something most clients need to do. Think of it this way: our bodies are primarily made of salt water. It infuses and bathes every cell in the body, facilitates muscle activity, brain function, blood health, lymph flow, organ function, skin quality, and the list goes on. So if you are deficient in either water or quality salt, you have a problem. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into a detailed discussion on the mechanics of hydration but if you’d like to learn more about this, here are a few great resources on the topic.

First, I recommend the book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”. Very informative.

Second, I’ve posted here before about the terrific products offered by our friends at blissfulfoods.com, and especially those products they offer that were formulated by David Favor of Radical Health. David is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met on the topics of metabolic health, nutrition and hydration. David makes a tremendous amount of content available on his website, much of it in audio format. You can see his audio/video page at www.radicalhealth.com/av. On that page he has a segment of a discussion he did where he discusses these issues directly in a very summarized way. The audio is about 5 minutes long and you can listen to it here.

Regarding pH balance, I’ll put this as simply as I can: you cannot achieve nor maintain long term, high quality health if you are acidic. One of the most important things you can do is to regularly monitor your pH balance and then make adjustments to your habits if you find it is not in your desired range. If you already have pH test paper, use it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can see the pH test paper I recommend here. The kit comes with detailed instructions on how to accurately test and measure your pH, and while their instructions are fairly involved and take several days to complete, I recommend periodically going through the process they describe. A quick and fairly accurate way to test pH is to test your second morning’s urine. Let a few seconds of stream go, then pass the test strip through the stream, shake it off and then wait about 10 seconds and it will change color, and the resulting color will tell you what your pH balance is. You want your second morning’s urine to be between 6.6 – 7.2, the closer to 7.0 the better. If it’s less than 6.6, you have work to do. Feel free to email me (rick@egoscue.com) for detailed suggestions, but there are many things you can do to start immediately improving this and I will write a follow up post here in the coming weeks dedicated to this topic. Just know this, as your body becomes more alkalized you will feel an immediate and tremendously positive difference in your life.

Nutrition is the last of the three elements I mentioned above. I could write a book on this topic but for our purposes here I’ll just lay out some basics.

Most people eat food that is rich in calories and poor in nutritional content. And worse, most people’s diets are largely comprised of packaged and processed foods with more chemicals and additives than actual nutrients. People are often surprised to learn that poor food choices can actually make their bodies more systemically inflamed, but it’s true. I’ve had people experience a significant decrease in pain symptoms simply by improving their diet. So, instead of eating nutrient sparse/calorie dense foods, you need to start turning that equation around and begin eating foods that are more rich in nutrients and low in calories. The less processed something is, the better. Start eating fewer processed foods and less animal products and begin upping your intake of raw vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts.

I always knew I needed to take my diet more upscale but I wasn’t sure how to effectively do it without making this aspect of my life a major pain in the butt. Fortunately, I learned some strategies that helped me make significantly positive changes here. I met David Favor, the man I mentioned above, and began using many of his products and the difference in my health was remarkable. I’ve recommended his products to a number of clients and the stories are always the same, very quick and powerful positive change with very little effort. Now, this is not intended to be an advertisement for David or his products. They are one tool of many you can use. I like them because I don’t like spending a lot of time shopping and preparing and storing and cleaning up, and while they’ve improved my health they’ve also helped reduce my overall food and supplementation budget. There are many ways to approach this, though. Green smoothies are a fantastic way to get more high quality nutrition into your body in a very efficient way, and at a very low cost. A properly constructed green smoothie or a glass of David Favor’s Chocolate Bliss will cost a fraction of what that muffin at Starbucks cost, and will give you more nutrients in one glass than most people get in a day. Here are a couple resources: To see David’s products, along with a variety of other really strong superfoods, visit our friends at www.blissfulfoods.com. They have graciously agreed to extend a 5% discount on all products to Egoscue clients. If you want to order something from them, contact them and they’ll tell you how that works. If you’d like to learn more about green smoothies, here’s a book I strongly recommend, Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, one of the leaders of the raw food/greens movement. It has a lot of great recipes for smoothies that taste great and are nutritional powerhouses.

Here’s a key point: you can start improving this aspect of your life without having to throw out everything you think you love. I’m not big into denial, I think that only takes you so far. Instead, just start adding some good stuff in that gives your body what it really needs. Then your body will start to adjust on its own and your tastes will begin to change. As they do, listen to your body and give it what it asks for. Let the process be natural, one of grace and ease. Don’t force it, let it happen naturally and you’ll be amazed how easy and tasty it is to start making positive change and how much better you feel as you do. If you’d like some specific suggestions, feel free to email me, I’m happy to help.

If you have implemented the four steps above, you are undoubtedly feeling better than you’ve felt in some time. Your pain is diminished, your energy level is up, you have more vitality and mental clarity, life is good and getting better. So now take this improved you and go use these gifts! Don’t just go back to the same habits and motion patterns that drove your situation in the first place. Find new ways to inject motion into your life. Park further from your office, go for walks at lunch, take your significant other dancing, join a volleyball or softball league, take up tennis, start running again. Find something you enjoy doing and go do it! Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you need to go to the store around the corner, maybe you can walk instead of always driving. Go on a hike for a date instead of dinner and the movies. Pain and limitation can separate us from those we love and from the world we are intended to live in and enjoy. So as you feel better, re-engage with your life. Leverage your increased capacity to do stuff into doing more things you enjoy doing. That will reinforce your improved physical health and create even more physical abundance.

I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful. What is so powerful is that they are all well within the capabilities of every person, even you! Above, I recommended an audio by David Favor. In it, he makes a statement that I love and agree with 100%. Aging is a product of our habits, not the passage of time. Just because another year has gone by on the calendar doesn’t mean you are something less now than you were 12 months prior. There is no reason you can’t be stronger, healthier, more energetic, and happier 12 months from today than you are now. Let’s work together and take some of the habits and patterns in your life that haven’t served you in reaching your goals and let’s replace them with powerful, proven strategies that will take you where you want to go. It’s a great journey and we look forward to helping you along the way.

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3 Comments on “5 Keys to Getting the Most From Egoscue”

  1. Tony Laurel Says:

    Rick, I have read tons of fitness/wellness articles, books & periodicals and your 5 keys article is phenomenal!! It is packed with useful encouragement. I look forward to reading this writing many times in the coming days and beyond. You have woven the notion of Personal Responsibility into this document like a master! Thanks, TL

  2. […] tell me about? Basically, I’m going back over what I wrote about a few years ago in my post “The 5 Keys to Getting the Most From Egoscue”, and in 99% of the cases, the answer is that they are NOT doing at least one or more of the things […]

  3. […] I’m going back over what I wrote about a few years ago in my post “The 5 Keys to Getting the Most From Egoscue”, and in 99% of the cases, the answer is that they are NOT doing at least one or more of the things […]

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